More than £50,000 has been raised at a special fundraising event to help launch Malawi’s first specialised stroke unit.
The University of Liverpool, in collaboration with University College London Hospitals and University College London, is working in partnership with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), the College of Medicine, and the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme to build a cost-effective and sustainable unit that will serve as a national centre of excellence for the delivery of stroke care, training and research.
The unit will be based at QECH in Blantyre and led locally by Dr Tamara Phiri and once operational will become one of the few such specialised units in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hosted at the Conduit Club in Mayfair, London, the fundraising event saw more than 100 guests enjoy a three-course meal created by top chefs and take part in a live auction of exciting experiences, including the chance to go on a private tour of the Tate Britain with Lord Stevenson. A silent auction included limited edition prints by Warhol, Dali, Lichtenstein, Matisse, Picasso and contemporary 20th-century artists selected especially for the evening.
Professor Tom Solomon, a neurologist at the University of Liverpool and Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and author of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine also gave a fascinating after-dinner talk on ‘Roald Dahl’s African Adventures and The Stroke Revolution’.
Dr Laura Benjamin, an Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Neurology at the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health leads the UK multidisciplinary team of clinical stroke professionals aiming to bring together the right training, funding and expertise to open the unit later this year.
Dr Benjamin said: “The support for the unit has been tremendous, and the generosity from our guests has taken us a step closer in achieving the goal of setting up Malawi’s first stroke unit, and ultimately, changing the devastating effects that stroke has on the people of Malawi. We thank Isabel Cary, one of the physiotherapists on the team, for her wonderful contribution to a successful event.”